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Colless secures Swans hat-trick

Colless secures Swans hat-trick

It may not be the three-peat the Sydney Swans were after but departing chairman and property identity Richard Colless has heralded the club's third consecutive year in the black with a $646,745 profit for the 2013 financial year.

Despite a diabolical run of injuries during the year, "the club not only did well on the field but it also did well off the field to post a reasonable profit", said Colless in his last public statement in the big chair.

It is a performance the new chairman, Moelis & Co's Andrew Pridham, may be hard pressed to match given the $10 million bill the Swans will have to swallow over the coming years to accommodate their punt on former Hawthorn star Buddy Franklin.

Colless hinted that the gig was a lot more fun than heading some of the corporate ventures he's been involved with.

"Finally, I want to stress that ownership of this great club remains in the hands of our members and supporters who, unlike shareholders in public companies, basically invest emotion, passion and time which is the foundation upon which our culture is built," he said.

Fan friction

Colless knows a lot about the differences between loyal club members and fickle investors. He got a lot of grief when he mixed the two some years back.

Colless chaired the ING Fund when it owned the clubhouse for the Sydney Aussie Rules Social Club (aka Club Swans) - a loosely affiliated pokie trap that never really recovered from a freak storm that collapsed the roof in 2010.

The social club, chaired by Swans director and ex-Mirvac boss Greg Paramor, went into financial collapse in 2011.

Treasure trove

Was that our National Living Treasure, Clive Palmer MP, wandering around Melbourne's busy Collins Street on Thursday?

The member for Fairfax wasn't wagging the final day of Parliament, he had a leave pass to attend the birth of his child, due at any time.

Maybe he was shopping around for some lawyers, or bean-counters, to keep track of the personal and business interests he submitted to Parliament this week. His register of members' interests totalled 18 pages, with 100 companies listed, plus cars and properties.

Associated companies include Deng Xiaoping Memorial Challenge Pty Ltd, which is listed as "dormant", as is Elect the President Pty Ltd. A scrupulous Palmer even listed his status as a National Living Treasure as offering a potential "conflict of interest with a member's public duties".

But the register did not include chattels such as former Lib foreign minister Alexander Downer, who serves on the board of Palmer's failed float vehicle, Resourcehouse.

Turnbull sells up

While Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was dumping on the NBN in Parliament on Thursday, his wife Lucy Turnbull was doing much the same with her substantial holding in domain name shop Melbourne IT.

A notice lodged with the ASX reported that she dropped off the register as a substantial shareholder after selling all of her 5.5 million shares for about $9 million.

Presumably she is not worried about leaving any money on the table despite the 54ยข-a-share capital return scheduled for early next year.

Turnbull came on to Melbourne IT's share register, and board, after it acquired WebCentral in 2006. She stepped down as a director in 2010.

The yacht club

Speaking of the NBN, its boss-to-be, Vodafone chief Bill Morrow, revealed his real motivation for taking over the NBN. His operations chief, JB Rousselot, owns a boat with their ultimate boss, Turnbull.

Morrow, also an avid sailor, revealed he has yet to score an invite from his new colleagues.

"I am pissed I haven't had an invite yet. I have been out there in my boat looking for them," laughed Morrow. "I'm teasing. Not yet, we have been heads down on too many different issues to be able to do that."

He could always treat them to a trip in his dinghy, a not-too-shabby 42-foot Sabre yacht.

Got a tip? ckruger@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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